The U.N. political chief says Ukraine still hasn't submitted a formal request for a U.N. peacekeeping force to be stationed in eastern regions where government forces are battling Russian-backed separatists.

Jeffrey Feltman briefed the U.N. Security Council on the crisis Friday and noted Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko's recent statements about a possible request.

Feltman says eastern Ukraine "still appears to be in limbo" as a cease-fire deal reached last month takes effect. The U.N. says more than 6,000 people have died since April

Ukraine's president signed a decree Monday opening the way to a formal request for international peacekeepers and said it would be addressed to the United Nations and the European Union. Russia is against the idea.